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Author Topic: Why is cancer more prevalent than it used to be?  (Read 1451 times)

Offline thedoc

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Why is cancer more prevalent than it used to be?
« on: 10/10/2016 22:53:01 »
Omkar Chandra  asked the Naked Scientists:
   Dear Chris,
This is my question for The Naked Genetics, "We know that one in three people eventually develop cancer in their life time, this is for the current generations of humans, but this was not the statistics for our former generations of people right? So what is that we are doing different from our former generations, that the incidence of cancer has become so high for us? Now, if we consider the present statistics, can we assume that the incidence of cancer will become higher in the next generations of people, are we in the verge of extinction due to genome instability?"

My suggestion for The Naked Scientists is to give an option for the fans and followers to share (in social networks) the content published in your official website so that we can make other people also come to know about your shows and gain knowledge from it. This will definitely make The Naked Scientists more popular. Cheers for the good work and sharing the knowledge of scientific world.

Yours sincerely,
Omkar Chandra R.
What do you think?
« Last Edit: 10/10/2016 22:53:01 by _system »


 

Offline evan_au

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Re: Why is cancer more prevalent than it used to be?
« Reply #1 on: 11/10/2016 11:09:21 »
Quote from: Omkar Chandra R
what is that we are doing different from our former generations, that the incidence of cancer has become so high for us?
We are living longer, because we have got the most dangerous diseases under control by sewage systems, vaccination and rat poison.

Cancer comes about by the accumulation of genetic mutations over a lifetime. When you live longer, you accumulate more mutations, and there is an increased chance that it will grow into a life-threatening cancer.

Quote
are we in the verge of extinction due to genome instability?
No. Most cancers occur in the aged population.
Most reproduction occurs in a younger generation.

So it wouldn't matter if 100% of the aged population suffered from cancer; the younger generation would still enthusiastically continue the species.
 

Offline puppypower

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Re: Why is cancer more prevalent than it used to be?
« Reply #2 on: 11/10/2016 12:03:09 »
One of the ironies of medicine is the more it advances, the more medical conditions seem to appear. This seems backwards, since each year there should be fewer and fewer conditions if the state of the art is getting better.

The analogy is say we have a new line of automobiles, that has X problems the first year. If this line is scheduled to last 10 years, and each year there are improvements, one would expect the trips to the mechanic to decrease each year, not increase each year. Yet with medicine, there are more and more maintenance costs each year, even though the state of the art is getting better and better. This is reflected in prices rising, unless rising prices have nothing do with health.

One conclusion might be there are unintended consequences of previous generation of treatments, like previous generations of medications. But it could also be due to marketing. Marketing can create perception of new health issues to increase demand. As an analogy, say nothing has gone wrong with the battery wires, even after 8 years in production. However, the mechanics warn the consumers, those battery wires are not the best and might lead to problems. This can cause people to replace the wires.

« Last Edit: 11/10/2016 12:06:23 by puppypower »
 

Offline alancalverd

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Re: Why is cancer more prevalent than it used to be?
« Reply #3 on: 11/10/2016 21:28:01 »
Cancer becomes more prevalent as we eradicate infectious diseases.

If you don't crash your car, it will eventually rust away.
 

Offline Colin2B

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Re: Why is cancer more prevalent than it used to be?
« Reply #4 on: 12/10/2016 00:02:52 »
One of the ironies of medicine is the more it advances, the more medical conditions seem to appear. This seems backwards, since each year there should be fewer and fewer conditions if the state of the art is getting better.
As well as the point Alan makes, better detection allows diseases previously lumped under 'natural causes' to be separated into distinct illnesses with specific treatments.
 

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Re: Why is cancer more prevalent than it used to be?
« Reply #4 on: 12/10/2016 00:02:52 »

 

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